You are on page 1of 3

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

Newborn Screening and Genetic Services

The Organic Acidemias

• Methylmalonic acidemia
• Propionic acidemia
• Isovaleric acidemia
• Glutaric acidemia type I
• 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA lyase deficiency
• 3-Methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase deficiency

INFORMATION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Description

The term “organic acidemia” or “organic aciduria” (OA) applies to a diverse group
of metabolic disorders characterized by the excretion of non-amino organic acids
in urine. Most organic acidemias results from a dysfunction of a specific step in
amino acid catabolism, usually due to deficient enzyme activity. This leads to the
accumulation of organic acids in the biological fluids (blood and urine), which, in
turn, produces disturbances in the acid-base balance and causes alterations in
pathways of intermediary metabolism.

Methylmalonic acidemia occurs when the activity of Methylmalonyl CoA mutase is


defective in the isoleucine, valine, methionine and threonine degradative pathway.

Propionic acidemia occurs when the activity of Propionyl CoA carboxylase is


defective in the isoleucine, valine, methionine and threonine degradative pathway.

Isovaleric acidemia occurs when the activity of Isovaleryl CoA dehydrogenase is


defective in the leucine degradative pathway.

Glutaric acidemia type I occurs when the activity of Glutaryl CoA dehydrogenase
is defective in the lysine, hydroxylysine and tryptophan degradative pathway.

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) lyase deficiency occurs when the


activity of HMG CoA lyase is defective in the leucine degradative pathway.

3-Methylcrotonyl CoA carboxylase deficiency occurs when the activity of 3-


methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase is defective in the leucine degradative pathway.

Incidence

While each individual disorder is rare, overall incidence of organic acidemias is


1:20,000.

1
Clinical Features

A neonate affected with an organic acidemia is usually well at birth and for the first
few days of life. The usual clinical symptoms of OA disorders may include
vomiting, metabolic acidosis, ketosis, dehydration, coma, hyperammonemia, lactic
acidosis, hypoglycemia, failure to thrive, hypotonia, global developmental delay,
sepsis and hematologic disorders. The non-distinct clinical presentation may
initially be attributed to sepsis, poor breast-feeding, or neonatal asphyxia.

Screening

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services’ Newborn Screening
Laboratory performs a screening test for organic acidemias by tandem mass
spectrometry (MS/MS). It is a screening test and not a diagnostic test.

Confirmatory Testing

A diagnosis must be confirmed using an independent analysis of urinary organic


acids as well as other appropriate tests.

It is important to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of an organic acidemia in a


timely fashion and with a high degree of accuracy to avoid unnecessary testing, to
provide appropriate interventions, prognostic and genetic counseling, and to
ensure access to specialized medical services.

Treatment

The cornerstone of treatment is the dietary restriction of the intake of all those
affected amino acids to the amounts that are required for growth and no more.
Other treatment options include low protein diets, carnitine or vitamin supplements
and/or avoidance of fasting.

Implications for Genetic Testing

The disorders included in this screening are inherited in an autosomal recessive


manner. While a family history of neonatal death should prompt consideration of
an organic acidemia, a negative family history does not preclude the possibility.

2
Interpretations/Recommendations

MANDATED DISORDERS:

• Expected Results: No elevated markers for C3, C5, C5DC, and C5OH
(Acylcarnitine Profile within acceptable limits)

• Equivocal Results: Indeterminate results


Recommend: Repeat filter paper specimen within 2 days

• Presumptive-Positive Results: Elevated acylcarnitine markers


indicating a possible organic acidemia or repeat equivocal results
¾ Glutaric acidemia type I – C5DC
¾ Propionic and Methylmalonic acidemia – C3
¾ Isovaleric acidemia – C5
¾ 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA lyase deficiency – C5OH
¾ 3-Methylcrotonyl CoA carboxylase deficiency – C5OH
Recommend: Immediate assessment of the baby’s health status and
consultation with metabolic/genetic specialist strongly recommended

NON-MANDATED DISORDERS: Other acylcarnitine markers detected on MS/MS

• Positive Results: An elevated acylcarnitine result that does not match


a mandated organic acidemia disorder profile
Recommend: Immediate assessment of the baby’s health status and
consultation with a metabolic/genetic specialist for appropriate urine
and/or serum confirmatory/diagnostic testing and treatment

NOTE: Newborn screening tests are adjuncts to clinical


assessment, which is paramount. An organic acidemia disorder
should be considered in infants with any of the signs/symptoms
regardless of newborn screening results.

Additional information:
Star-G Project
http://www.newbornscreening.info

Gene Tests/Gene Clinics


http://www.genetests.org

eMedicine
http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic406.htm

For questions, contact:

Newborn Screening Laboratory at (609) 292-3090


Newborn Screening Follow-Up Program at (609) 292-1582

December 2008